Tag Archive: batman


BatmanKeaton1

Last year, DC Comics celebrated a huge milestone. I should really say comic books in general celebrated a huge milestone because the world was first introduced to Superman in the pages of Action Comics, created from the young minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Now that trend continues again this year as another legendary character celebrates 75 years of comic book existence. Arguably the most popular comic book character (or least one of the top three), Batman continues to thrill and amaze after all these decades of storytelling. Interestingly enough, his title was almost cancelled in 1964 and Batman was going to be killed off. A few changes to make him more contemporary helped stave off his demise but it wasn’t until a certain television series helped put the character prominently in the minds of everyone.

While the campy 1966 Batman TV series helped foster a new interest, it made the character almost too comical. It wasn’t until Dennis O’Neill and Neal Adams brought Batman back to his original dark roots in the 1970s that firmly put a stamp on who the character is. No one has looked back ever since.

But comic books have become big business these days. Both Warner Bros. and Disney, the parent companies of DC Comics and Marvel Comics respectively, are raising the bar and taking this competitive nature between these two comic book companies to a whole new level. This is quite evident in the way they have tackled the whole film industry. Marvel has definitely solidified its movie making abilities with a slew of successful films and they don’t seem to be slowing down. DC has finally gotten its act together and is trying to reclaim its might in the box office.

But it does come back to the source material. Collecting comic book these days is a very expensive hobby. An average issue costs between $3.00-$4.00 these days. I do admit that I rarely pick up single issues anymore opting to waiting until issues are released in collections, which is why I appreciate Free Comic Book Day and the reason for this whole exercise.

For many years I hosted an annual event on Epinions.com called The Funny Pages Write-Off. It’s a celebration of comic books in general and how it extends beyond the confines of the printed page. These characters are bombarded everywhere now. However, with the demise of Epinions.com, this write-off didn’t seem like it was going to happen. Almost.

In celebration of all the festivities surrounding this popular genre, the seventh annual Funny Pages Write-Off begins again. Write a review related to comic books and comic strips. Notice I say comic books and not just superheroes. It can be about comic books, graphic novels, movies, toys, clothes, television shows, cartoons, novels, video games, and anything else you can think of. Did you ride the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags? That totally counts for this. Did you visit Metropolis, Illinois, the “Hometown of Superman?” That counts as well. Anything related to comic books counts.

Even better, find obscure references that mention anything about comic books, such as the movie Office Space implementing a quick-rich scheme based on the machinations that happened in Superman III or the argument over the best Silver Surfer artist (Jack Kirby or Morbius) in the movie Crimson Tide.

This will be the summer’s blockbuster write-off so have fun from now until the end of August. Give me a shout in the comments section if you do participate. It doesn’t matter where you write your review. It can be on another writing site, your own blog, anywhere at all, as long as I can link back to your original review. I’ll list and link your review(s) to this page.

Check out these previous entries:
2008 Funny Pages Write-Off (186 reviews)
2009 Funny Pages Write-Off (90 reviews)
2010 Funny Pages Write-Off (279 reviews)
2011 Funny Pages Write-Off (301 reviews)
2012 Funny Pages Write-Off (253 reviews)
2013 Funny Pages Write-Off (156 reviews)

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carstairs (17 reviews)
Books: Melissa Explains it All  || Calvin and Hobbes: There’s Treasure Everywhere
Movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier  ||  The LEGO Movie  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy  ||  Ghost Rider  ||  The Rocketeer 
Ornaments: 2014 Hallmark Ornament: Snoopy #17  ||  Hallmark’s High-Flying Hero Ornament: Rocketeer  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament: Good Grief, Charlie Brown  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament Disney/Pixar Legends #4: Edna Mode  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament: Hangin’ with Count Snoopy 
TV Shows: Sabrina The Teenage Witch – Season 7  ||  Smallville – Season 7  ||  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One  ||  The Big Bang Theory, Season 7  ||  Arrow, Season 2 

elvisdo (8 reviews)
Editorials: Thor Tells Shania Twain “I Feel Like a Woman!”  ||  Superman Embraces the Dark Side of the Force  ||  Move Aside, Xena! Wonder Woman is the Original Warrior Princess!
Events: Marvel Universe Live! 
Movies: Justice League: War  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy
Toys: LEGO DC Super Heroes: Superman: Metropolis Battle  ||  Imaginext DC Super Friends: Brainiac 

mariedragonfire (9 reviews)
Books: This Pen for Hire
Editorials: Thor to Become a Woman  ||  Holy Limited Edition Boxset Batman!  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy is Still Awesome on Second Viewing 
Movies: X-Men: Days of Future Past  ||  Transformers: Age of Extinction  ||  The Simpsons Movie   ||  21 Jump Street  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy

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I just finished reading the collected Blackest Night hardcover edition and really loved the entire story from beginning to end. Death has been a revolving door in the DC Universe and it feels like this is finally addressed, at least for now. But the more I was reading this story, the more I just realized that certain pieces were falling into place concerning the Justice League. Is it possible that the original seven will eventually reform the Justice League? I pose this question because of the players involved.

Infinite Crisis re-established that Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter are the original seven who formed the Justice League of America. At some point, every single one of these heroes have died and returned, some more than others. Don’t believe me. Take a look at the running stats.

Superman—died at the hands of Doomsday (Superman); killed during the Obsidian Age (JLA)
Wonder Woman—killed by demons (Wonder Woman); killed during the Obsidian Age (JLA)
Batman—killed during the Obsidian Age (JLA)
Flash (Barry Allen)—died saving the world (Crisis on Infinite Earths)
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)—died reigniting the sun (Final Night)
Aquaman—died saving Atlantis (Aquaman)
Martian Manhunter—killed during the Obsidian Age (JLA); killed by Libra (Final Night)

As you can see everyone has tasted death and returned, even Batman. Now all the players seem to be back in place for a resurrected Justice League of America revival, in the same vein that Grant Morrison did with JLA. The difference this time is having the original members back in play. Once Bruce Wayne returns from his jaunt through time, can this possibly in the works? Considering how DC Comics is pushing Green Lantern to super stardom and hopefully the start of a new DC movie continuity, it would be in DC’s best interest to put all their eggs in the basket again with the original Big Seven in the Justice League.

Grant Morrison has put both Batman and Bruce Wayne through the wringer when he took over the writing helm for the flagship title. Bruce Wayne met his “demise” during Morrison’s Final Crisis limited-series, or so everyone thought. The astute comic book reader knows that Bruce Wayne is not gone and the legend of Batman will never die. Thanks to Darkseid’s Omega Effect, Bruce Wayne finds himself lost in time trying to find his way back to the present. I actually find this take very amusing and a great homage to his time traveling days back in the mid 1940s. Yes, Batman “traveled” through time thanks to the “time travel hypnosis” of Professor Carter Nicholas. As absurd as the concept may sound, it allowed for some amusing stories where Batman and Robin were out of their usual element. The current story of Bruce Wayne riding through time has a similar sci-fi feel of its predecessor.

But while Wayne is still gallivanting through time and space, his former sidekick Dick Grayson (Nightwing and the first Robin) has finally stepped up and taken over his mentor’s role as the Dark Knight. What readers see is a different take on the Batman persona. While Grayson keeps up public appearances of making Batman a grim avenger of the night, he is also having fun with it in his own way by the way he interacts with his fellow peers. That grim persona doesn’t extend to these people he calls his friends and it’s a very refreshing way of looking at how Batman can actually lighten up.

With that said it’s inevitable that Bruce Wayne will reclaim the mantle of the bat. But does that mean Grayson has to give it up? Grant Morrison doesn’t think so as he starts introducing Batman Inc. in October 2010. Is it possible that many people can be called “Batman?” It’s an interesting concept and one I definitely want to see explored considering how many heroes with the same name operate in the DC Universe, the two most prominent coming from the Green Lantern and Flash camps.

Many can argue that the title “Green Lantern” is a designation given in the same vein of saying police officer or fireman. I don’t disagree and when it comes to the Green Lantern Corps, the shoe fits. However, I’m looking at the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott and his Silver Age counterpart Hal Jordan. For years both have been called Green Lantern and no one confuses the two at all.

The same can be said with Flash. For years the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick shared his name alongside his Silver Age compatriot Barry Allen. When Allen died, Wally West took over the role and ran alongside Garrick. While they were all called the Flash, no one confused any of them even with Barry Allen now back in the fold. I do appreciate the slight costume alterations to distinguish one from another to make things easier and each of them maintaining their own personality.

I can see a similar venture for Batman. What excites me, first and foremost, is the return of the yellow oval bat symbol and I, for one, applaud its comeback. While I have no problem with the giant, black bat logo, I feel the oval elevates it more graphically and pays a homage to the Silver Age. I love it. It also differentiates from Dick Grayson’s Batman costume, if he continues to wear it.

But is the world ready for multiple “Batmen?” It works well for other heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern, but is Batman a character who falls into that same situation? Or is he better off being a single entity all onto himself? That’s a question only Morrsion can answer as he orchestrates this new era for the Dark Knight… er, Dark Knights. Morrison continues to amaze me with his ideas and I definitely want to see how this one fares out.

I have been loving the animated films from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line ever since it was first announced back in 2006. The first animated feature Superman: Doomsday did a great job of adapting the popular “The Death of Superman” storyline in 1992-93. From there so many great stories have made it from the comic book to the big screen. I got ambitious and made a quick guide of the movies made to date that can be found over here. I hope you enjoy this cheat sheet.